Be obstinate. Be proud. Be lost. Or truly be free!

Before I start, I’d like to thank James Martin, SJ for providing the transcript for me. I hate having to find it on Youtube and hoping the transcription in there. Next, I’d like to say I love the beard your sporting these days. Good look on you, Fr. Martin. Now onto the not-quite-so-nice.

Homily for the LGBT Community | World Pride NYC 2019

Be tough. Be free. Be hopeful.

Homily: Pre-Pride Mass, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, June 29, 2019

Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21; Gal 5:1, 13-18; Lk 9:51-62)

What does it mean to be a disciple? What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to be free? What might it mean to be all these things as a Catholic, as an LGBT Catholic, or as the family member or friend or ally of an LGBT Catholic?

While you don’t answer these questions in clear terms, Galatians totally does.  It’s like you went from Kings to Luke and didn’t look at the true slavery defined in Galatians.

At first glance, you might not think that these readings would have much to say to us. After all, the First Book of Kings, was written in roughly 550 BC, when the Hebrew people were in exile in Babylon; St. Paul’s Letter the Galatians was written around AD 55; and the Gospel of Luke, the most “recent” of our readings, was written around AD 85. You might not think they would have much to say to contemporary Catholics, and maybe even less to LGBT people, but of course they do. The Bible is the Living Word of God and, if we are open to it, God’s voice will always be revealed when we read or hear these readings, no matter how ancient.

On the contrary!  I think they say quite a bit to anyone struggling with sin and the temptations of this world. It’s kind of interesting that they fall in “pride” month, but that relatively lost on you.

Please read all three passages, but pay particular attention to Galatians, which James Martin, SJ, skipped almost completely. They all go together quite nicely and show how the “pride” movement leads people into slavery, not away from it.

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters;[c] only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence,[d] but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

The Works of the Flesh

16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.”

And for good measure and definition of what you so woefully try to keep from the faithful, let’s just throw in the next two verses which are rather inconvenient for you, Fr. Martin. What exactly are those works of the flesh that are opposed to the Spirit?

19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[e] drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The highlighted ones epitomize the “pride” movement. Now, lest Fr. Martin point how I don’t equally apply these verses to heterosexual people, I do. I apply them to you and me and everyone in between, but he’s the one always suggesting “loopholes” apply to one class because the teachings offend them or they are somehow not equally applied in his mind.

Let’s start with the Gospel, where Jesus confronts, head on, the demands of his ministry.

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, where he will meet his destiny—his passion, death and resurrection. Even before he gets there, he’s facing opposition, and he knows it. He has just passed through Samaria, where the people have rejected him. “They would not welcome him,” says Luke. Why? For religious reasons: the Samaritans had very different idea of what good Israelite was, and didn’t even recognize the Jerusalem Temple as the seat of God’s presence. In response to their rejection, his disciples want to punish the people of Samaria, but Jesus says no. He’s not going to punish them, but he’s also not going to be dissuaded.

Meh, not exactly.  In the first verses, Christ had already told them what to do if the people wouldn’t listen.  He told them to “shake the dust”, which is a rather big slam in that region even today.

5 Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

Fr. Martin goes on:

Then Jesus turns his attention to the demands of discipleship. And he is extremely blunt with the disciples. He fully understands the costs of discipleship and wants them to as well. “I’ll follow you,’ says one. “Really?” says Jesus. “You’re not going to have anywhere to sleep if you follow me.” Now, not all his disciples followed Jesus along the road—some stayed at home, like Martha and Mary—but many were indeed, like him, itinerant. That’s part of the deal, he’s saying. Two other disciples offer excuses based on family responsibilities: “I have to bury my father,” says one. “I have to say goodbye to my parents,” says another.

But Jesus sweeps these excuses aside. Now, does he really expect that dead people will bury dead people. No, he doesn’t. But he is not above using hyperbole to make a point. If you’re going to follow me, you’re going to have to be tough. And if you’re going to follow me, you can’t look back.

More like you’re going to have to set aside your temptations and proclivities and pick up your cross. It was a serious opportunity to teach, but a huge swing and a miss by Fr. Martin. Missed is generous. I can’t even say overlooked. It’s more like very purposely avoided because he can’t talk about denying oneself.

Jesus goes even further than the Old Testament prophets. In the First Book of Kings, we see Elijah anointing Elisha as a prophet, by throwing his cloak over him. But first Elisha says he needs to care for his father and mother. Once he does so, he follows Elijah.

Jesus goes beyond that. No, he says, no using your family as an excuse. Nothing comes before following me, not even duties to your family. Jesus makes that point elsewhere in the Gospel, when his family comes from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee to confront him. We don’t talk about that episode very much because it shocks many Christians. But the Gospel of Mark reports that his family thinks that Jesus, who has just started his public ministry, is “out of his mind.” So his extended family travels all the way from Nazareth to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, where he is living, to “restrain” or “arrest” him. But when Jesus is told that his mother and brother and sisters are waiting outside his house, he says, “Who are my mother and brothers and sisters? Those who do the will of God.” Ties to God are more important than ties to the family.

(In my greatest TV narrator voice) Also starring in the role of “extended family”, Father James Martin, SJ. And yet he seems to have missed that.

Finally, to drive his point home, Jesus uses an image that people in this agrarian society would have known well: once you put your hand to the plow don’t look back. Because what happens if you take your eyes from the team of oxen? They will plow in the wrong direction. Stay focused.

Riiiigggghhhhhttt!  You, however, Fr. Martin, are the one who is distracting. One of my readers very well described Fr. Martin’s tactics as “whataboutisms.” “Look over there! And over there! And over there!” Look anywhere but to your own sins and shortcomings which is where we should all be focusing.

Now, each of these readings, though ancient, has a great deal to say to all of us today, especially LGBT Catholics. Let me suggest three things.

I would like to point out, once again, that he’s just about completely ignored Galatians.

1) Be tough. The last few years have seen many positive steps for LGBT Catholics. And there are two big trends. The first can be summarized by two words: “Pope Francis.” His five most famous words are still, “Who am I to judge?,” which was first a response to the question of gay priests and then expanded to LGBT people. Francis is the first pope ever to use the word “gay.” He has LGBT friends. And he’s appointed many LGBT-supportive cardinals, archbishops and bishops. Another trend is that as more and more Catholics are coming out and being open about their gender identity, they and their families are bringing their hopes and desires into their parishes, and slowly the culture of the church is being changed.

I would consider that quote as infamous, not famous. Regardless, it seems interviews and quotes are only highlighted if they promote the “pride” agenda. The pope compares gender ideology to a nuclear weapon and we get crickets.  Martin?  Martin?  Bueller? Anyone?

Yet it’s also a hard time to be an LGBT Catholic. Catholic schools are still firing LGBT employees who are civilly married when many other straight church employees, who are also not following various church teachings, have no problem keeping their jobs. Church leaders publish documents, issue statements and offer quotes to the media that betray not the slightest evidence that they have listened to the experience of LGBT people or their families. And of course on the local level, we still find in some places homophobic pastors, pastoral workers and parishioners.

Insert the eye-roll of a professional teenager. Hey, I’m all for cracking down on anyone who publicly flaunts their sins against the Church teachings on morality. GO. FOR. IT.  Not that I really think that’s what Fr. Martin is going for, but hey, I’d agree to that. Fr. Martin would have you believe that every sinner posts it on social media. I’d have to think most don’t. Privacy means something to most people. Yes, there are the twits who want to tell you exactly what’s going on in their bedrooms, but I have many secular friends and they don’t all run up to me to tell me what birth control they are using. (Thank goodness.) If they did, I’d probably suggest they not be allowed to teach in a Catholic school either.

All the more reason to be like Jesus: that is, tough. And to, first of all, claim your rightful place in your church. Look, if you are a baptized Catholic and you are LGBT or are an LGBT parent or family member, you are as much a part of the church as the Pope, your local bishop, your pastor, or me. Root yourself in your baptism and claim your place in your church.

Enter god-complex. The difference between us and Christ is that he was God. (I know Fr. Martin sometimes has issues with this but, I promise, it’s true.) We are sinners. He is God. “Our place” in the Church is kind of irrelevant. Anyone else think of James and John who were worried about where they should sit?! Every time I hear Fr. Martin say, “claim your place,” I think of this. Ironically, Christ’s response was the same as it is in the Sunday readings at the heart of the homily. Be a slave to everyone else and don’t let your sins enslave you by rejecting the cross.

But make no mistake, Jesus is telling us: sometimes it’s going to be hard. Sometimes your family may misunderstand you, as Jesus’s family did. Sometimes you’ll feel unwelcome in places, as Jesus did in Samaria. Sometimes it won’t feel like you have a home, like Jesus felt when he had to sleep by the side of the road. Sometimes you’ll find that your friends disagree with you, as Jesus did when he told the disciples that revenge was not his way. But it’s all part of the journey. It’s part of being with him.

Question: If we’re all struggling to do as Christ demanded – denying ourselves, refusing to be enslaved by sin, and taking up our cross – why would anyone feel these things?  Answer: It’s our sin that is enslaving us. Our freedom is in our rejection of sin. You, sadly, are not encouraging that. You’re just whining about those who get away with sin as if it somehow excuses those who are not. It’s, well, sick.

Throughout all this, Jesus invites you to be tough. Claim your place in your church. Be rooted in your baptism. Know that you are fully Catholic. You know, lately I’ve been hearing that it’s not enough for the Catholic church to be “welcoming” and “affirming” and “inclusive.” And I agree. Because those are the minimum. Instead, LGBT people should fully expect to participate in all the ministries in the church. Not just being welcomed and affirmed and included, but leading. But to do that you have to keep your hand to the plow and you have to be tough.

What EXACTLY do you mean by welcomed, affirmed and included, Father? I think you’ve been ambiguous enough.  SPELL. IT. OUT. Do you think we should affirm, welcome and include peoples’ sins? No, thank you, and the first one that does that for me and my sins should be proverbially shot.

2) Be free. A second lesson from today’s Gospel is Jesus’s supreme freedom. Look again at what the Gospels say about Samaria: “They would not welcome him.” But Jesus doesn’t care if Samaria rejects him. Certainly, he would like the Samaritan people to hear his word. We know this because, in the Gospel of John, he speaks at length to a woman from Samaria, the famous “woman at the well,” and she later shares their encounter with the people of Samaria. But if the Samaritans don’t want to welcome him, fine. He’s free. He moves on.

Uh, Jesus’s supreme freedom? That’s what He gives, not what He gets. He’s God. That’s found in carrying our cross and being a slave to others. It’s not fine for us to reject Him and have Him move on. It’s our complete and utter destruction.

Jesus is free from the need to be loved, liked or approved of. He is free from the need to be loved by the Samaritans. He is free of the need to be liked by the disciples, as when he rebukes James and John. And he is free of the need to be approved of by his family, who early on think he’s crazy. He is supremely free. And what is he free to do? To follow the Father’s will.

Many people in the LGBT community feel unwelcome, like Jesus felt, as well as excluded, rejected and sometimes, as Jesus was, persecuted. It can be painful and enraging. And it’s okay to feel those things. It’s human and it’s natural, and sometimes those feelings should stir you to action on behalf of people and groups who are being persecuted! But, ultimately, Jesus asks us to be free of the need to be loved, liked or approved of. And to be confident in who you are.

I’m not really sure how many times I can say this. He is God. We are not. Rejection of our sinful acts is not persecution. It’s love. Once again you are trying to confuse the rejection of sin and the rejection of the sinner. It’s still not the same no matter how many times you say it. 

Notice that Jesus is also free of the need to punish. James and John wanted to “call down fire from heaven” to destroy the Samaritans who rejected Jesus. But Jesus “rebukes” his disciples for this. That’s not his way. He is free of the need for revenge. So be like Jesus. Be free.

Are you really suggesting that no punishment is coming for those who reject the teachings of Christ? Again, that’s not revenge. The question is, do we want to suffer here on earth or do we want to suffer for eternity.

3) Finally, be hopeful. The life of Christian discipleship is not simply a hard row to plow, it’s not simply tough, it’s not simply a chore. As St. Paul says in today’s reading, “For freedom Christ set us free.” Isn’t that beautiful? The Christian life is not some terribly burden or “yoke” as St. Paul says, echoing the plow imagery of Jesus. No, it’s an invitation to live in freedom. Just as Elijah covered Elisha with his cloak, so all of us, LGBT or straight, who accept Jesus’s invitation are wrapped under what the theologian Barbara Reid calls the “protective cloak of his spirit.” We live in freedom. And in joy!

Your definition of “freedom” doesn’t resemble what St. Paul said. You might have noticed it if you actually bothered to quote it.

And in hope too! It’s tempting for LGBT Catholics and their families to look at the present reality of the church and say, “This will never change.” Or “I feel unwelcome.” Or “I have no place here.” But that is not the only place Jesus wants us to dwell. The future will be so much fuller than the present, and Jesus knows this. We keep our hands to the plow not only so that we don’t lose our way, but so that we don’t take our eyes off the horizon.

To my SSA friends, please note that you are welcome in the Church, and I would love to struggle along with you in overcoming our sins. Please see Fr. Martin’s babbling as what he intends it to be – discouraging and divisive. Our true happiness will come from overcoming temptation. Let’s do it together and don’t let anyone tell you that it is impossible or that the Church wants less for you than everlasting life.

“Sometimes LGBT Catholics say that they’re done with the church, with the faith and with God. Yet when looking for Christ in the church often they’re only seeing the present. But suffering and death are not the only things that Jesus experiences in Jerusalem. They’re not even the most important things. The most important thing is the Resurrection. And the Good News of the Resurrection is that hope is stronger than despair, suffering is never the last word, and love always triumphs over hate. Love always wins. So be hopeful!”

Fr. Martin, I know you like to downplay this, but none of us can get to the Resurrection without first taking up our crosses. I mean, for heaven’s sake, look up the verse that you halfheartedly referred to.

You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

That’s the problem. You don’t ever explain what “drinking the cup” means. You’re leading people to believe that it’s freely indulging in sin. That is so wrong.

These readings, so ancient, so different, so seemingly far away, are actually tailor made for us today, for all of us who are called to encounter God. In these readings we hear God say to us: Be tough, be free, be hopeful. Be proud to be Catholic. And for my LGBT brothers and sister and siblings, be the LGBT Catholic whom you are called to be by Jesus Christ himself.

You’re giving them stones when they ask for bread. Hopefully they will come to feast, despite your best efforts. #pridebeforethefall

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Catholic Homophobia: Patheos or Pathetic?

Patheos!  What in the name of all that is good have you been smoking?  This might be the most laughable article I’ve read on the subject, and I’ve seen many.  I mean, don’t you people read the articles before you approve them?  Some of your people are great but then there’s some horrible and awful ones.  Let me tear this one to shreds in 5 minutes or less.  Seriously!  It’s so bad, that’s all it will take.  It’s like I’m Tom Servo reading an article worthy of the MST3K treatment.  (Oh yes, I did just reveal how cool I am! If you don’t know MST3K, Google.  I can’t help you.)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/catholicauthenticity/2017/06/straight-talk-catholic-homophobia/

Father Longenecker’s most recent post talks about the release of two different Catholic books on homosexuality (Fr. James Martin and Dan Mattson both put out titles this month). Longenecker basically lays out a very familiar approach to dealing with the problems raised by LGBTQ people with regard to the Church’s teaching on sexuality:

a) The Church’s teaching is simple and clear.

b) The Church’s teaching applies equally to everyone and is difficult for almost everybody.

c) There are plenty of straight people who can’t get married and they are expected to be celibate also.

Wait, before you talk about what it’s missing, where in the heck did it go wrong? Let’s not gloss over this one. It doesn’t really matter what’s missing or what’s not missing. What’s wrong about it?  It seems like you’ve got the Martin talking points about “unjust discrimination” down pat, as shown here:

This straightforward approach misses one really important aspect of the problem: straight people and their sexual sins are not treated the same way as gay people and their sexual sins. It doesn’t matter how often Catholics state and restate the fact that the Catechism is pretty much equal-opportunity in its condemnation of most people’s sexual behavior, because the actual Church on the ground is not equal-opportunity in terms of tolerating the fact that almost nobody really accepts the teaching in practice.

So, what you’re saying is that Canon 915 should be applied to ALL public obstinate sinners? I agree. Oh, that’s not what you’re saying?  Of course not. What you are suggesting is exactly what Fr. Martin has been suggesting: We all sin, so why don’t we just drop the whole sin thing?

Is it just me or does everyone run around their parishes telling everyone every intimate detail of what they do in the bedroom?  “I put on this piece of latex. I use this spermicide.  I’ve chemically altered my fertility for years!”  Give me a break.  I’ve attended Mass with a whole lot of people, and I really don’t ask and they really don’t tell.  Who in the H-E-double hockey sticks wants to know what everyone does when they are participating in the marital embrace?  No, thank you.

Also, let’s stop and think about something as we end this “Pride Week.”  We have “Pride Week.”  Do we have “Marital Infidelity Week?”  How about “Artificial Birth Control Week?”  “Pornography Week,” maybe?  If we do, please don’t tell me.  I’m happy in the sanity bubble.  So, is it really the Catholic Church that is treating those embracing the “gay lifestyle” differently, or is the reality that those “embracing the gay lifestyle” are really demanding to be treated differently than any other sinner?

I recently wrote specifically about the problem of homophobic firings within Catholic and Christian institutions. I also wrote about the fact that the Catholic media-sphere tends to get way more up-in-arms about portrayals of homosexuality than about unmarried heterosexual behaviour. I could add the fact that except in a very small minority of hyper-Catholic communities you can be twice married, sterilized and/or living with your opposite-sex partner and nobody will bat an eye. Nobody will say anything. Nobody will make uncomfortable comments in your presence. Nobody will question whether you should be involved in ministry to the youth. And you probably won’t hear anything about it from the pulpit.

OK, because you didn’t link, it’s going to take me longer than 10 minutes to put this one to bed.  Nevermind.  I’m just going to assume some teachers were found out to be in a same-sex marriage and got themselves fired because they a) didn’t repent, and then b) fell into public obstinate sin providing scandal to the faithful.  Or was it maybe the math teacher that came out as transgendered?  Wait, I don’t think she got fired, so probably not.  Regardless, MANIFEST sinner.  You need to learn the difference between “manifest sinners” and those who don’t shove their sins in other peoples’ faces.

Seriously, most of us don’t run around telling each other things we’re doing that are considered mortal sins.  My plan of action is usually to run to the nearest confessional line.  I’ve got this crazy fear of not getting to Heaven.  Silly me.

In the many years that I’ve worked as a Catholic writer, I’ve met a number of married people who work for the Church or teach in Catholic schools who haven’t felt the slightest need to conceal their use of contraception. In some cases these are folks who I’ve met exactly once…yet I know that they don’t follow the teaching of Humanae Vitae. That’s how not worried they are that if anyone ever finds out they will lose their jobs. Why? Because everybody knows that if the Church suddenly fired everyone who uses contraception we would face a Catholic schoolteacher crisis, a finance officer crisis, a music-director crisis, a children’s liturgist crisis, and a parish secretary crisis to go along with the oft-lamented vocations crisis.

Umm, can we go over the “why” they don’t worry about getting fired again?  They don’t give it a second thought about concealing their contraception because A) they’re tacky and B) because they don’t have a fear of getting fired by the liberal powers that be.  Duh.  If their boss was an educated and/or faithful Catholic, they might possibly think twice about 1) sinning and 2) getting their butts fired!  Take a look around, Melinda.  Is the list of institutions who care about souls of sinners and protecting the laity from scandal small or large in our country?  There’s no wholesale fear that they are going to get fired because their sin is of the same-sex attraction kind.  There’s no fear because the bulk of these institutions aren’t going to fire any manifest sinners – SSA, heterosexual, or otherwise.  The only places this is going to happen is where the bishop is a true shepherd of souls.  I mean, seriously, the Cupiches and McElroys of the world are basically fine with telling people to have at it and going on a lovely vacation with their friends.

Thankfully, there are still places that dismiss teachers who cause public scandal for their students.  While you’re going to insist that this only happens on the same-sex highway, you’d be wrong.  Here’s just a few for you:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/26/teacher-says-catholic-school-fired-her-over-ivf.html
https://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/06142013unmarried-pregnant-teacher-fired-by-catholic-school-wins-lawsuit/
http://www.christianpost.com/news/catholic-teacher-fired-over-artificial-insemination-66020/
This one’s from Germany but the Church is universal, so: https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5b5_1419820767

And there are MANY other similar stories out there.  What makes these people different from all of the people who didn’t get fired?!  They had shepherds who cared for their flock enough to get serious with the issue. There was no repentance, and so THEIR SIN BECAME MANIFEST!

LGBTQ employees of Catholic institutions, on the other hand, do know that they have to stay in the closet or risk losing their jobs, because LGBTQ people do routinely get laid off because of their sexual choices – or in some cases, just because of their sexual orientation.

Can we at least qualify that with “authentically Catholic institutions?”   Or do you really believe this to be true for all “Catholic” institutions?  Personally, I think it should be true, but sadly it’s rare.  Case in point…
https://cardinalnewmansociety.org/transgender-teachers-catholic-schools/  Please.  You know for every transgender, homosexual, or openly birth-controlling teacher who gets fired, there are a whole bunch that do not.  Tell me you honestly think Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Bishop Joseph Tobin, etc., are going to pull that trigger. Sorry.  Ain’t going to happen.  I live in California. Do you know how many SSA teachers I’ve had/seen over the years?  Nobody was quaking in fear, because they worked for people who were just fine with it in the first place.

Now, it’s true that the Church’s teaching is consistent.

How nice of you to notice!

So far as I can make out that’s pretty much how it’s always been done, at least going back as far as the formal institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Folks who have sufficient sexual self-control to actually put the teaching into practice are about as common as folks who perfectly exercise justice towards the poor, folks who never covet their neighbour’s goods, and folks who literally pray without ceasing. We all know we’re commanded to do these things, and mostly we all know that we stand more in need of mercy than of plaudits.

Joel Robinson:  Anyone think she missed something in Catholicism for Dummies?
Tom Servo: It wasn’t the dummy part!

Patheos peeps have a really, really big problem with writing about things they know nothing about (and she should know about Catholicism, because she claims Catholic).  First of all, God is the “insanely demanding” one.  Would you like to tell Christ, who was crucified on the cross after being scourged, that celibacy/chastity is insanely demanding?  They must have missed that whole CROSS thing.  I mean, Melinda mentions a cross, but it’s right up there with talking about “gay pride.”  They have no clue as to what that truly means.  It’s just a nice little Catholic colloquialism.  That whole “take up your cross” thing just means skipping meat on Fridays during Lent, right? Get. A. Clue.

Which is why pretty much everyone deals with the demands of Catholic sexual morality by either ignoring it, or being unaware of it, or using the “frequent recourse to the Confessional” method of fidelity to the teaching.

Really?  Everyone?  Yep, not one of us struggles with the sins of the flesh.  I am soooooo sad for you and anyone who buys this load of hooey. No, seriously, I’m so sorry that somehow you missed the beauty of our struggle with the Cross and the reward for doing so.  It’s simply all about sex with you.  Her claim is that she “speaks directly to every Christian who has experienced same-sex attraction.”  That might be so, but she doesn’t necessarily speak for them.   You do not speak for Thomas here (The Catholic Church Thinks We Deserve Better), and you don’t speak for the rest of us who do not fear people who suffer from SSA but who fear for them.  Our goal is to struggle on with them to Heaven. 

And, can I just say, from the heterosexual point of view of struggle, ours is every bit as real.  Have you ever known a heterosexual couple who has lost a child?  You think that celibacy is “the more onerous cross?” Wow!  I’m not sure the person who buries their child will ever agree with you.  Be they right or be they wrong, comparing crosses is a losing battle. It’s how you carry the cross that matters.  And, more importantly, it’s how we help others to carry the cross that matters.

So far as I can make out that’s pretty much how it’s always been done, at least going back as far as the formal institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Folks who have sufficient sexual self-control to actually put the teaching into practice are about as common as folks who perfectly exercise justice towards the poor, folks who never covet their neighbour’s goods, and folks who literally pray without ceasing. We all know we’re commanded to do these things, and mostly we all know that we stand more in need of mercy than of plaudits.

There’s a little part about “firmly resolving to sin not more and to avoid the near occasion of sin” that she missed somewhere in her catechesis.  I’m sure it’s not her fault.  She was probably taught by the likes of Fr. Martin.

But when it comes to homosexuality, suddenly that’s no longer okay. If you’re gay you can expect to subjected to an inquisition by random internet trolls with handles like SuperApologeticsMan or CatholicusMaximus or SledgehammerOfGod. You may be called upon at any time to publicly endorse the most harshly worded phrases from random Vatican documents concerning your sexuality. You might be literally asked to sign a document confirming your acceptance of the Church’s teaching before you can rent space in the parish hall.

What a great idea!  That might have prevented the little debacle in the Los Angeles Archdiocese where a pro-abort organization rented their property. I’m all for signing a statement of faith.  I’m all for diocesan speakers bureaus which vet the Catholicity of the speaker.  I’m all for teachers’ handbooks.  I think you can see how well that went over. People don’t want to be called out on the carpet, which really isn’t the intent at all.  It’s to protect souls, dummy!

Can I also point out her “harshly worded phrases” comment? Hello! It’s just the Catechism of the Catholic Church you’re talking about.  You say “harshly worded” but a lot of us say “reality.” 

If you’re gay, the usual ways that Catholics deal with sexual desire are no longer sufficient: you must be constantly on guard against every vestige of homosexuality, and your sole purpose in life must be the crucifixion of same-sex Eros. Anything less and you’re a heretic who is probably being paid by George Soros to advance the gay agenda.

What are you talking about?!  You’re supposed to be constantly on guard for near occasions of sin.  Sorry it’s inconvenient to you but that IS how it works for ALL of us.  My temptations may be different from yours. And?  The temptations can be different between any two people you meet on the street.  You’re so incredibly focused on your sin that you cannot see the forest through the trees.

I’m not saying that this is how Longenecker sees things (he mentions that most people struggle, and points out that Confession is an option.) Rather, I’m saying that the simple fact that LGBTQ people do consistently meet with this kind of toxic double-standard in Catholic culture has to be taken into account. It’s not enough to say that this is a “one-size fits all” teaching when the truth is that the teaching being given out to straight folks is made out of super-stretchy material and nobody says anything when it really doesn’t fit, while the one being given out to gay people is a hairshirt adorned with spikes and chains.

Honey, I’m sure if you talk to the nearest person who is extolling their cozy sin of abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization, infidelity, pornography, sodomy, etc., you will find the same martyr complex.   Nobody wants to feel uncomfortable.  They want everyone to bow down to their sin like it’s something special. It ain’t.  It is what it is: sin.  Some are more egregious TO GOD than others, but they all lead to sickness and death of the soul (and sometimes body) if we don’t struggle against them.  Get over yourself and move on with us in the struggle.

Rather than adopt the liberal “let’s call the whole sin with guilt thing off” attitude, how about we get a dose of reality before we get hit by the proverbial bus?  Stop whining about the martyrdom of this group or that group and get thyself right with God and jump into the confessional with the firm resolution to sin no more.

The Catholic Church Thinks We Deserve Better!

When I started writing in the blogosphere, it was simply a way for me to say what many others were thinking – a way to vent and give my family a little break from my ranting.  I never really thought anyone would read it, but I’m very thankful it’s turned out the way it did.  I’ve “met” some amazing people around the world and I’d like to talk about one guy in particular.  He’s a FAR better writer than I will ever be, and his incredible patience and charity in the face of adversity amazes me.  He’s one of the main reasons I give Fr. James Martin, SJ, any attention.  Honestly, Fr. Martin doesn’t affect my family much, if at all, but his actions do affect my friends and many I meet.  He has injured so many people, body and soul, that the mom in me just can’t stand for it.  He and his cronies are predators of souls and I will continue to repeat that as long as it is so.  I hope my little voice over here annoys him like a thousand flea bites.

So, on to my amazing friend, “Thomas from Michigan.”  I have asked his permission to reblog a comment he made.  Why?  Because he nails it.  He’s got “street cred” and should carry far more weight than I can in the arena of same-sex attraction (SSA).  Go ahead, liberals, try and tell him he doesn’t have a clue.  By the way clergy, if you’d like some advice from him on ministering to people suffering from SSA, I’ll gladly put you in touch.  (FYI, I made that last comment without consultation.  Thomas is probably cringing as I throw him under the bus!  Sorry, Thomas, I’ve just got this idea that people like you are going to save the Church.)

Let me set the stage for you…

I have a long time dissenting reader.  I have to say, though, I really do love her.  I suspect that annoys the heck out of her, but I realize she’s a product of her lack of Catholic education.  I’m a little tweaked that she was robbed.  Anyways, here’s one of her comments on my last post, Open Rebellion Coming to a Church Near You:

OMM, I genuinely want to know why you and the others here are afraid of gays and their lifestyle being accepted by some in the church. How does it affect you? Do you think your children will catch it? Do you speak out as loudly against murderers, adulterers (Trump), thieves, etc. Maybe you do, I just don’t see it in your blog.

(She completely points out she’s missed quite a few of my posts but, whatever.)

Here’s the super-important part of “Thomas from Michigan’s” reply (emphasis mine – please go to link for full exchange, although there wasn’t a reply to Thomas from our liberal friend, because there was NOTHING she could say about it.):

The Holy Mother Church loves all of her children–even me. For nearly a decade, I was out and proud. (Nearly a decade has passed since that chapter of my life closed.) I was quite hostile to any religion that didn’t approve of my behavior. I was the president of a social group for gay men over the age of forty. I can’t even remember all of the sexual partners I had–and I was considered a bit of a prude. I especially enjoyed hooking up with men who were in what they themselves described as “committed relationships.” I regularly made fun of those who attended Dignity’s Mass. I also got three different STDs (sexually-transmitted diseases), kind of like getting three prizes in one box of Cracker Jacks.

This is the lifestyle you appear to think the Church should accept: sodomy, fellatio, promiscuity, sexually-transmitted diseases, and significantly shortened lifespans. The Catholic Church thinks we deserve better.

Biggest mic drop EVER!  THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THINKS WE DESERVE BETTER!  It’s so simple, people.  Fr. Martin can spin it all he wants, but this should be the central message from our Church to combat his stupidity.  How about something like:

We don’t want your  death – spiritual and/or physical. The Catholic Church wants better for you!

Of course, the same message applies to all of us.  The Church wants to help us conquer sin because She wants better for us!  Duh!

Thomas continues:

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” includes homosexual behavior in its discussion of the Sixth Commandment–the one that says adultery is wrong. The fact that many in our culture–and Church–seem to think other forms of adultery are acceptable doesn’t mean they are. All baptized persons are commanded to be chaste. The fact that some priests want to give some people an exemption doesn’t change that.

That segues nicely into this! For those of you who don’t follow my Facebook page, I shared this video from Jason Jones, which perfectly explains to my liberal friend where we faithful Catholics are coming from (can you believe I’ve finally figured out how to embed these?!).  While I’m not sure Fr. Martin is a “New Donatist”, this sums up the feeling the faithful Catholics have about Fr. Martin.:

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We are all in this together and we’re supposed to help each other struggle on!

Onto Fr. Martin’s lapse of sanity this week.  He’s LIVID with Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield.  If Martin is livid with you, I’m sure you deserve a hearty “Kudos!”, Bishop Paprocki!  I’m reasonably sure it was not your intent, but you know you must have done something right.  Fr. Martin is TERRIFIED that other bishops will follow suit and really drive home the deadliness of sin. He can’t have that!

martinpropracki 

As you can see, Fr. Martin is going to use the whole kitchen sink approach in the hopes you will get lost and the pile-on will make Bishop Paprocki look really mean ol’ guy.  Sorry, Fr. Martin.  Bishop Paprocki follows Canon Law, unlike some people I know.

Let’s look at it, shall we?

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P4C.HTM
CHAPTER II.
THOSE TO WHOM ECCLESIASTICAL FUNERALS MUST BE GRANTED OR DENIED

Can.  1183 §1. When it concerns funerals, catechumens must be counted among the Christian faithful.

  • 2. The local ordinary can permit children whom the parents intended to baptize but who died before baptism to be given ecclesiastical funerals.
  • 3. In the prudent judgment of the local ordinary, ecclesiastical funerals can be granted to baptized persons who are enrolled in a non-Catholic Church or ecclesial community unless their intention is evidently to the contrary and provided that their own minister is not available.

Can.  1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:

1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;

2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;

3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.

  • 2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.

So, as we see, Fr. Martin’s nice little list is ridiculous.  Does he have a clue what the distinction of “manifest” means?  You bet he does! He’s just trying to use a bit of smoke and mirrors to make you miss that one.  If you’ll notice, Bishop Paprocki said that signs of repentance negated exclusion.  Nice try, Fr. Martin.  So, yeah, the person who announces to the world “I use birth control even though the Church says it’s a mortal sin! Look at me!” probably shouldn’t be getting the funeral in the Catholic Church.  Why?  Because they are manifest sinners who are causing public scandal.  Duh.  Mary and Joe Anonymous are birth controlling Mass attendees but don’t go around shoving their sin in everyone’s face?  Do you really think they are going to be denied?

Fr. Martin knows all of this.  He’s not uneducated in the matter.  He’s just hoping to confuse all of those who might not be.  Like I’ve said before, he’s a predator.

So, Father Martin, tell me exactly how Bishop Paprocki’s guidelines go against Canon Law.  Oh, that’s right.  They don’t.  And, by the way, BISHOP PAPROCKI IS A CANON LAWYER and you are not, Father.  I just Googled, and Ed Peters, of course, has already destroyed you and your ilk here.  Please, good people, share this one: https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/bp-paprockis-norms-on-same-sex-marriage/

Let’s look at your other insinuation, Fr. Martin.  “Unjust discrimination” my foot. I missed the part in Catholic teaching where every social ill must be addressed by the local bishop on the same day.  The reasons these directions have to be issued these days is because of people, especially priests like you, who are making clear teachings murky.  I think what you fail to understand is that threat of exclusion from the Sacraments is a remedy for the sick soul. Actually, I’m pretty sure you do understand. The problem is, Fr. Martin, you are encouraging the illness.  It is supposed to urge them to repent before it’s too late, but with people like you running around telling them they are being persecuted instead of loved, they’re dying without repentance.

I’m just going to hit on one last thing that hit last night before this “went to press.”  The Gaffigans.  Not really sure what the heck they were thinking with this:

gaffigan

I’m so proud of my gay kids. Happy #pride2017 #pridenyc

How could a family who seems to have a grasp of the Church’s teachings on Natural and Moral Law in the area of being open to children be so wrong on this one is beyond me.  And how about just a little science?  Are Jim and Jeannie really cheering on the dramatically increased diseases found in the “gay lifestyle” they are cheering? Are they fine with encouraging behavior that brings early death to so many?  Let’s just take a look at a few of these beauties:

Anal Cancer
Chlamydia trachomatis
Cryptosporidium
Giardia lamblia
Herpes simplex virus
Human immunodeficiency virus
Human papilloma virus
Isospora belli
Microsporidia
Gonorrhea
Viral hepatitis types B & C
Syphilis
hemorrhoids
anal fissures
anorectal trauma
retained foreign bodies
“Gay Bowel” syndrome
Hepatitis A
Giardia lamblia
Entamoeba histolytica
Epstein-Barr virus
Neisseria meningitides
Shigellosis
Salmonellosis
Pediculosis
scabies
Campylobacter
typhoid
HHV-8
incompetence of the anal sphincter
Kaposi’s sarcoma
Bacterial vaginosis
Mental illness
(and many others)

But love is love, right? Hello!  Typhoid and Giardia are now falling under sexually transmitted diseases.  What the what, Jim and Jeannie????  Care enough to talk reality?

If anyone is going to try and make yourselves feel better  by bringing up the fact that there is a presence of some of these diseases/problems in the heterosexual community, save it.  DO THE RESEARCH!  Having one or any combo of these is the NORM in the “gay lifestyle.” Some are most certainly found in promiscuous heterosexuals, too, which is one reason why the Church is against that, too.

How about we stop calling it “pride” and start calling it “dangerous”?  That’s the reality.  We haven’t even gotten to the spiritual aspect of the “gay lifestyle.”  I was just called a hater last night by our resident liberal friend.  Really?  Look at the above list!  Do you want this for your friends??? I look at people like my friend Thomas and I get very mad at the Fr. Martins of the world who encourage the disease, moral decay, and spiritual death under the guise of “love.”  Peddle your rusty, rotted bridge somewhere else, Fr. Martin.

If you are a person suffering from same-sex attractions, Catholic or not, please look further into the reality of the Church’s love for you.  Fr. Martin – I can’t say this any more clearly – is trying to aid in stealing your soul.  The Bishop Paprockis of the world are the ones who truly love and care for you.  As Jason Jones points out, we should all be struggling together.  Don’t fall for the pandering of Father Martin and company.  They have an agenda and their main aim is NOT your physical or mental well-being or for you to live an eternal life with Our Lord.  THE CHURCH THINKS YOU DESERVE BETTER!

Pray for Fr. Martin.  The Church wants better for him too.  Hopefully he’ll see that and struggle along with the rest of us.